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Frustration as West Hendon regeneration stalls to leave Barnet Council tenants 'in limbo'
Families in West Hendon have been left “in limbo” by a stalled regeneration project that leaves the future of their estate hanging in the balance.
Hundreds of people were told their houses would be demolished when plans for a major redevelopment of the area were agreed in 2005.
But plans to build 2,100 homes in place of the existing 680 flats and houses have stalled over finance and planning issues.
Barnet Council, along with developers Barratt Homes and Metropolitan Housing, says it is close to getting the project back on track but residents say they have been left in the dark.
Many of the 1960s flats are in need of repairs but West Hendon Residents’ Association (WHRA) chairman Derick Chung says the council appears reluctant while demolition plans remain up in the air.
Mr Chung, of Marsh Drive, said: “We want them to speak to us and let us have some representation at their meetings – we’re living in a terrible situation here and no-one knows what is happening.
“They promised us like-for-like properties when they proposed this but now we seem to have nothing – it is not fair.”
Early stages of the major redevelopment have already begun, with the first block of 180 flats currently being built.
WHRA treasurer Thomasina Mitchell has lived on the estate for almost 40 years and believes the majority of residents now oppose the regeneration.
The 72-year-old said: “We could get a call any day telling us to get out of our homes. We’re entitled to know what is going on but it feels like they are just dictating what is happening.
“We want to keep our homes and we’re willing to fight to do that.”
A petition opposing initial plans for the regeneration almost 12 years ago attracted 380 signatures.
The residents’ association is planning another this year, which they say should gather more support due to the increasing disillusionment with the plans.
Council leader Richard Cornelius said in a statement: “Frankly I can entirely understand the residents’ frustration.
“In the current economy it has been very difficult to get these large regeneration schemes moving.
“But a lot of work has gone on behind the scenes with council staff and developers to produce a scheme that will work in the current state of the economy and I hope to bring forward a paper to cabinet in April.
“This should get things moving. I will make sure officers keep residents in the loop as soon as we have news.”